On September 25, the Northeast Tennessee Valley Regional Industrial Development Association (NETVRIDA) along with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) hosted an “Electric Car Guest Drive” event at Tusculum University near Greeneville, Tennessee. NETVRIDA is an association of power distributors in a 13-county region roughly from Abingdon, Virginia to Jefferson City, Tennessee.
The “electric car guest drive” was a hands-on learning experience for area power distributors, TVA staff, and Board members and guests. Guest drivers drove electric vehicles from brands such as Tesla, Jaguar, Hyundai, Nissan and Chevrolet to learn more about the current state of the industry. A unique aspect of this event is that car owners demonstrated the vehicles and not dealers or manufacturers to obtain an objective viewpoint on all maintenance and ownership aspects of a vehicle.
The NETVRIDA power distributors see electric vehicles as an important element of environmental stewardship, a future source for power sales and an opportunity for recruiting automotive prospects to the region. With Volkswagen having their USA electric car production in Chattanooga and Van Hool planning an electric bus production facility in Morristown, major electric vehicle manufacturers are locating in eastern Tennessee. The Nissan Leaf, the top USA electric car market leader in cumulative sales since 2010, is also produced at Smyrna, Tennessee near Nashville.
NETVRIDA and TVA wish to thank Tusculum University for facilitating and hosting the event on their beautiful historic campus.
The coordinators/organizers of the event are the publishers of Electric Car Insider magazine from San Diego County, California.